Insider News

I’ve noticed it is t1d blog week, but with a hell of a lot of other things going on in my life, and I know I’ve been slacking. I hope my readers understand, and that I post enough throughout any typical week that you’ll let me slide!

I received this email today from JDRF. I think it’s important to share all the research that is going on for Type 1 Diabetes. If you haven’t noticed, I am an advocate for t1d research. Hopefully one day soon, I will have an artificial pancreas that will monitor my blood sugar levels and give me insulin without me needing to lift a finger. I really would like to get involved in some of this research, so if anyone is looking for candidates, email me!

Check out the article below about some new advances from JDRF.

JDRF: Insider News

Artificial Pancreas

New JDRF-Funded Technology in Collaboration with BD and Helmsley Charitable Trust Offer Improved Insulin Delivery with Less Pain

Today we celebrate a significant achievement in the fight against T1D. Becton Dickinson Medical announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its application to begin production of its novel FlowSmartTM insulin infusion set. This important accomplishment would not have been possible without help from our many supporters. We are extremely grateful to our donors, partners and the entire T1D community.

The new infusion set is designed for use with insulin pumps sold in the U.S., and studies show that it has significantly fewer flow interruptions and blockages than regular sets. The smaller needle also causes less insertion site trauma.

Infusion sets are a critical part of effective insulin-pump therapy, yet these sets have seen little innovation over the years. More than six years ago, JDRF Research and BD Diabetes Care leadership helped bridge that gap through a multi-year partnership with BD and a seven-figure investment by JDRF and the Helmsley Charitable Trust to develop FlowSmart technology.

This new infusion technology could play an important role in developing highly reliable and effective artificial pancreas systems, which aim to require little monitoring and action on the part of the user. JDRF donors helped make possible this important step towards creating a world without T1D.

Read about ways to support JDRF here.

The Marriage to Diabetes

It’s been less than a year for my husband and I. We are still considered “newlyweds.” We are currently about to close on a house. I am trying to understand why people find keeping a marriage together so damn hard?

I feel like I’ve been in a marriage for most of my life… Married to my type 1 diabetes that is. Everyday is a battle to keep my blood sugars in control. Everyday I try to avoid that argument with diabetes, and stay steady at 100mg/dL. When I bolus correctly, exercise properly and don’t eat a bunch of crap, t1d and I are pretty gosh darn happy. Our ‘marriage’ isn’t at risk.

That is not always the case. Many times t1d and I argue. I’ll want to take a walk with the dog; t1d will give me a low blood sugar. I will want to eat a slice of pizza; t1d will punish me with a high for hours later. I’m not hungry, and t1d gives me a low and forces me to eat. I don’t feel well, and t1d makes it worse with another high. It seems like all t1d and I do is argue!

But somehow, I make it work. I have to make it work. How I control t1d now effects my future and my life depends upon it. The life my husband and I have depends upon it. The lives of our future children will also depend upon it.

Controlling diabetes, much like a marriage, is a roller-coaster of ups and downs. The important thing is to keep it balanced, and love all the steady 100mg/dL memories.

The Marriage of Diabetes | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

 

Spreading Diabetes Awareness — Learn the Facts!

We had an ice cream social at work for autism this past week. For every employee that signed their name and had a bowl of ice cream (or frozen yogurt), my company would donate $1 to Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks is striving to provide autism awareness for those who are unfamiliar. I am all for charitable donations, and my blood sugar was going low, so I joined my coworkers.

Upon grabbing my scoop of ice cream, then adding some walnuts, I was slightly taken back at the conversation my boss struck up… and she knows that I am a type 1 diabetic. “You know, you need to be careful in eating all of that stuff. Diabetes is something that needs to be managed well and if it’s not there are a lot of complications you can have. Don’t overindulge and overdo it, kiddo.”

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I am screaming inside, and she has no idea how much I want to rip her head off!

Diabetes Awareness at Ice Cream Social | www.IAmAType1Diabetic.comI understand that her statement was meant well. And, I understand that many people who aren’t directly affected by type 1 diabetes would have no idea how much work is involved in managing blood sugar control; By directly effected I mean T1D yourself, parent of a young T1D child, sibling to T1D, husband/wife to T1D. They are completely unaware of how often I check my blood sugar, or how much insulin I give myself, or even what exactly good blood sugar control is!

I responded, “I know it’s important to have good blood sugars. I been getting my a1C numbers down. My blood sugar is low right now, and this is my special treat to get my numbers back up.”

She then proceeded to tell me that I need to watch with the smoking and drinking. I have quit smoking (only my electronic cigg). And I really don’t drink all that much anymore. I had 2 long island iced teas when I was out with friends a few weeks ago, and the next morning I felt like I was hit by a truck! I’m not so young anymore, and I’m married, so going out every night isn’t as appealing as it used to be. I rather sit on the couch, snuggled up and watching a movie. But to my boss, I am just a handful of years older than her children, so I guess she felt concerned.

The conversation only got worse when she started telling my about her mother who had diabetes. She would watch over her, and give her insulin. “Which type is the bad type?” she asked. “It depends on what you consider ‘bad.’ Personally, I prefer to say I have the better type because I was diagnosed so early and have had to deal with diabetes for so much of my life, I don’t really remember what life was like before I had diabetes. But then again, people say I have the ‘bad’ type because I am on insulin and have been dealing with it for most of my life. Guess it depends on if you look at the cup as half empty or half full.” Her response, “well, my mom had the same kind as you because she was on insulin.”

AHHHHHH! [Again!]

“Both types of diabetics can be on insulin. Being on insulin does not mean that you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It only means that your pancreas isn’t creating enough insulin for your body, so you need to supplement it with insulin shots or the pump like I have. I am a type 1 diabetic because my pancreas creates zero insulin. People who’s pancreas creates little insulin, but not enough for their body, are considered type 2 diabetics. They tend to get it later on in life and have to manage it with diet & exercise along with medication or insulin.” After my explanation, she got very quite because I clearly knew what I was talking about. I may have started to sound a bit frustrated by this point. I made one last statement, “She probably had type 2 diabetes and just needed to take insulin.” Only 5% of people living with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

Our conversation thankfully drifted off into a different direction at this point.

I wish I could advocate conversations like this with everyone who knows someone with diabetes — being type 1 or type 2 or gestational or pre-diabetes. It is extremely important to know the difference, know how to manage or fix a blood sugar reading, and know what a normal/good blood sugar is. According to WebMD, blood sugars should range between 70 – 130 mg/dL before meals, and lower than 180mg/dL after a meal.

The American Diabetes Association considers an a1C of 7% as ‘normal.’ I may not have ‘normal’ blood sugars for my entire lifetime, but I will never have them bad for long enough to endure diabetic complications. Keeping your blood sugar levels close to normal will prevent many complications such as kidney disease or kidney failure, strokes, heart attack, vision loss or blindness, poor circulation in the legs and feet or nerve damage. Wounds also heal slowly with uncontrolled diabetes, and the potential for amputation increases with high blood sugars.

I hate to say numbers, but my last a1C was 6.9% and I was jumping for joy! I work my ass off in order to keep my blood sugars in ‘normal’ range. I test my blood sugars approximately 8 times per day, and wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that alerts me when I’m higher or lower than I should be. Keeping a very close eye on your blood sugar level continuously throughout the day is the only sure way to stay healthy and avoid any complications.

Pretty the Pump (or CGM)

I recently found this great little website called PumpPeelz.com.

They make these nifty little stickers and covers just for your insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). I’m a graphic designer, so I wanted to create my own design for my Dexcom CGM. I ordered mine last week and have patiently have been waiting.

Pretty The Pump (or Continuous Glucose Monitor) | Decorating Diabetes | www.iamatype1diabetic.com Today, I received this strange envelope in the mail. I opened it, and turns out it was a card from pumppeelz. 

Hi Calla!
We are going to resend this design to you. It somehow got moved during printing, leaving some white space. You will receive a new one next week!
Thanks, Scott

I really appreciate the effort given from pumppeelz. I am very excited to decorate my new Dexcom share. The pumppeelz sticker is a lot like a clear, protective cover on a cell phone. So far, it seems to be very sturdy!

With my new Dexcom share, I ordered it in the black color. I’m not too much of a “girly girl” and I began to feel like I was with my pink receiver (and the pink case on my OmniPod meter that you can see is this post).

For now, I am going to wait til next week for the new one before completely sticking this new black & purple design onto my CGM. (If you’ve seen any of my wedding photos, my cell phone or my car, you’d know black and purple are more my colors anyway!)

Pretty The Pump | Decorating Diabetes | www.iamatype1diabetic.comI can’t wait to make my Dexcom CGM look pretty! Super excited about this new product, and glad it’s not super expensive either. Click here to find out what other device covers they make to make your diabetes products prettier.